The Herald reports:
President Peter Goodfellow said National was the underdog but would run a strong campaign and would choose a talented candidate.
“We will be looking to win the Mana by-election but we acknowledge that we have a very difficult job ahead of us given National has never held the seat.”
Mana is not a marginal seat, or ever a moderately safe seat. It is Labour’s 9th safest seat,and indeed has never ever been held by a National MP. Labour won a higher percentage of the electorate vote in Mana than in Dunedin North, Rongotai or Mangere.
Mana has been held by Graham Kelly and Winie Laban since 1996. Prior to that Porirua was held by Graham Kelly since 1987, Gerald Wall from 1969 and Henry May from 1963.
Onslow, which used to cover parts of Mana, was held by May from 1954 and Labour’s Harry Coombs from 1946. And he held Wellington Suburbs from 1938 onwards.
So Labour have held Mana, or its predecessors, for over 70 years. So don’t get fooled when the media try to talk the race up as potentially close.